BaByliss Perfect Curl: Is It Worth the Effort?

I have been gasping to get my hands on one o’ these yokes for ages. The BaByliss Perfect Curl has been an absolute unicorn in my life. Given my column in The Herald, and my assiduous blogging in this corner of the internet, it proved to be impossible to secure a sample of this implement from the brand’s public relations representatives. So, off to the googles I went, and came upon a site that was selling them for an incredibly good price* {hint: ‘cheap babyliss curl’} and it was in my hot little hands in about ten days.

How badly do I want curly hair? That desire was tested in the extreme.

I took this selfie at 15:04, GMT, Sunday, 18 May, 2014.
I plugged ‘er in, and waited while she juiced herself up. I kept my specs on, as I needed to read the directions.


The BaByliss Perfect Curl

They were pretty straightforward:
> Always have the gray dot that appears on the one side of the implement pointed towards your head. This has something to do with heat, and not burning yourself.
> Choose how long you want your dry, clean, well-brushed hair to cook {12, 10, 8 seconds; there is also a 0 in that section, which makes absolutely no sense to me.}
> Choose which direction in which you want the hair to curl {Left, right, auto}{Chose auto, seriously, why make this any more complicated?}
> Take a 3mm-wide hank of hair, lay it into it in the maw of the implement and clasp it closed.
> When it beeps four times: release, emit curl.

Oh, yeah, and clip your hair into smaller hanks.
Because if you’re me, you’ll start out with the best intentions and then get bored stupid, and begin grabbing bits of hair, rhymelessly and reasonlessly, just to get it over with.

I began, after a few false starts — to the point where I’d cocked it up so badly that I had to turn the implement off, and turn it on again.

What happens is: if you’ve put too much hair in the thing, it kinda groans as it tries to pull all that hair into itself. It will also beep four times and then make no noise at all, so you know that you’ve done it wrong. I did it wrong several times, and once you stop squeezing it closed, you hair basically falls out of it.

No hair was harmed in the making of this post.
Holy God, this is only halfway, and I want to kill someone.

When you do it right, the implement merrily curls up the hair with a happy curling sound, and then beeps in an intermittent fashion, and then beeps four times in quick succession, and then you have your curl.

Things I learned at this stage:
> If you think you’ve brushed your hair properly, brush it again. The tangles that lurk, even when you think you’ve done a thorough job of it!
> Take the smallest hank of hair you’ve ever held in your hand, in the whole of your life — then divide it in half. And divide it again. This is the amount of hair that will be successfully be drawn into the maw.
> Use clips. I would have been lost without these:

Is it worth it?
04 OH!
I think so…
I think that once I get a hair cut, it’ll look less straggly at the ends? But those poor ends were the initial tresses that got the brunt of my inability to do it right; had I not had more than enough of curling, I would have gone over them again.

I officially powered down at 15.44. So with mistakes, and turning off and back on: the guts of 40 minutes to do this head.

The head felt awfully top heavy, so I finger-combed a bit.
Okay, I think I do like it. It seems really dry and flyaway, though — and this is second day hair, as well. Maybe next time, so that it takes even longer, I’ll use a styling spray on each miniscule lock of hair.

THE NEXT DAY. Now: I did all the curling yesterday, and never left the house, so there was no environmental wear and tear. I blasted the roots with dry shampoo and twisted it up into a knot, and slept. I combed it out lightly, and thus:
I haven’t used hair spray in about a decade, but think that if I was going out and intending to keep this hair looking good, I’d have to use some class of holding product.

I also feel like I’m always fiddling with it, making sure it is okay and wavy and fluffy and voluminous.

Verdict? High maintenance; wouldn’t do it everyday; but totally worth it.


*Thanks to lovelygirliebits for the heads up {ha, ha,} re: the benefits of googling this object.


The Hair Goes to Canada, Likes It Lots

{Happy New Year’s Eve!}

So! There I was in the YMCA of Saint Catharines {an A, no apostrophe} having availed of their truly excellent leisure facilities; after having used the product on offer in the showers {er…}, I reckoned I could cover all impending ills using one of my stash of Nuture Anti-Ageing Conditioning Hair Treatment. Even before I lashed it on, I noticed that The Hair looked especially wavy, in a good way. In the way that looked like nice, loose waviness, rather than the usual indecisive half-assery.

Okay. I applied the serum and dried it, and it felt like silk. Full-of-volume silkiness.

I overheard someone in the dressing area talking about the softness of the water in these parts. Ah! This is a thing that is always on my mind at this time of year, what with all the travelling. I have to say that Ontarian water may be the best I’ve come across anywhere!


This looks like a frame from a music video:
Clearly about to begin an impassioned ode to the Ontario Water Works Association.


Uh, yah, eh?


Ask Andrew! Mr Dunne From Mane Salon Answers Some Knotty Questions

ANDREW DUNNE from MANEAndrew Dunne is the Irish Colour Ambassador for Wella, and one of the hand-picked colour specialists who represent Wella and P&G on the global stage. Winner of The International Trend Vision Colour award 2009 for Ireland, he was voted Colourist of the year,  and was inducted into the Hall of Fame, in 2010.

So, clearly, he knows about colour + hair. His work on my own head appears here, and it’s one of the more popular posts on Bright & Beauytfull. Since people ask me about hair allll the time, and since I’ve only got expertise as relates to my own, Andrew kindly agreed to answer some of the more frequent questions…

1} I dye my hair black, always have, always will. Lately, though, the colour is not lasting past ten days. It looks like growth, but it’s not — it seems like the colour is washing straight out. Going lighter won’t suit me, and on top of it all, my hair is dry. I can’t understand why this happening, or what to do about it. Can you help?
Mary, Co. Kerry
Hi, Mary! The answer to your problem is in your question: the products you are using are working at dyeing your hair and not colouring it. The dyes just stay in the hair and have very strong, heavy pigments in them; a good professional colour will open your hair to allow new micro-pigments to enter your hair, so the shine will come from within. Not all salon carry products like this, so do your research before choosing a salon that’s the real deal.

2} How can a lady in her 40s update her look without looking like an eejit? There are so many new technique out there, and I want to be on trend, but I don’t want to, like, chop all the hair off and then dye what’s left turquoise. Any advice?
Bridie, Co. Dublin
Hi Bridie! First off, go to someone who know how to break it all down, let’s start with the colour and the way choosing the right tones works its skin and eyes first, then hair. If it works on your skin and makes your eyes pop, then the hair comes alive. Then regarding the shape, look for the focal points on your face as in: eyes, lips, cheekbones, jawline, and create a shape that shows off your best features. Now bring the cut and colour together and that’s the best trend in the world to follow: your own trend.

3} Fringe: yay, or no way? I feel like it took me about six years to grow out the hair around my face, and I like it sweeping back, but I am always thinking about chopping a few lengths over my forehead. This is cheaper than Botox, can just a few locks be sacrificed to the cause, locks that could maybe be tucked back in somehow?
Sue, this blog
Well, Sue, most of the time it comes down to the size of your forehead; that determines the type of fringe that you can wear. The general rule of thumb is: the bigger the forehead, the fuller the fringe. The biggest mistake most people make is not committing to a proper fringe, as it must be the focal point of the whole haircut! Instead, they half do it and it just doesn’t work — and they start growing it out a week later. I’d say go to someone who understands face shape and how fringes impact on them.

4} Do colour protect shampoos really make a difference?
Matilda, Naas

The difference between professional products sold in a salon and cheap products sold in smaller chains is massive, and getting bigger by the day. But if your hair is not coloured properly in the first place — as in, low volume of peroxide, the right colour for the right skin tone, the right technique — no colour protect shampoo is going to make a difference. Make sure your hairdresser uses the most gentle products possible while colouring your hair so as not to damage your beautiful locks.


Mane Salon is located in The Grooming Rooms, 16 South William Street, Dublin 2. Prices range from €100-160 for colour and €60-80 for cut.
Ring 01 672 5177 for an appointment.


Sneaky Peeky: T3 SinglePass Straightening & Styling Iron

Okay, here’s me, with what I considered to be straight hair.PRE-T3 Try to ignore the half-asleep vibe — which is ridic, as it was like 11.20 when I snapped that on the 46A — but that’s hair I’d straightened, or as an American, I always want to say ‘ironed’.

In fairness, there were a couple of things I didn’t do:
1} I didn’t spray it with any shine-inducing, frizz-flattening product.
2} I didn’t go, like, lock by lock with the straightener. I did my usual four clumps of hair, and dragged the device down each clump several times.

Still, on a normal day, I do get asked, ‘Did you get a blow dry?’ and I smugly say, ‘Oh, no, I did this myself.’

Well, I didn’t do the following myself, but I absolutely could, with the new T3 SinglePass Straightening and Styling IronAbout to roll out in Brown Thomas, Dublin, the American brand has found a UK distributor, and is ready to hit our shores, along with a fancy hair dryer and styling wand.

T3 — Arnold Schwarznegger is in no way implicated in these tools — incorporates Tourmaline and Ionic Ceramic technology, which results in an improved sealing of the hair cuticle as imparted by the heat. Every single dryer and iron are made from parts that made from actual tourmaline, so every element of each tool is imbued with the essence of the semi-precious stone.

And when it comes to your fully-precious locks, you want the heat you use to be effective, on contact. I don’t like to feel like I’m burning my hair, you know? That’s where the SinglePass aspect comes in. I availed of the offer of the stylist giving my hair a going over and I… I don’t know that there’s any going back. Every single tress was swiped through the straightener, and then it was done. That was it. And look!

It took, like, ten years offa me!

Two hours later, I’m on my way home.
T3 two hours later 2
T3 two hours later 1

More words to follow — I think I really want to give the hair dryer a go, it’s meant to dry hair even as long as mine in around seven minutes — but the proof is in the pictures…

Brace yourself, bridies: it’s €157.50. I think the words that will follow will be a forensic breakdown of why this is excellent value…


Seriously, between the flat hair and the pixellation, maybe even as many as fifteen years offa me.


Nurture Anti-Ageing Conditioning Hair Treatment: When Good Things Come In Small Packages…

… if the thing doesn’t sparkle, it better do something useful.

First: adorbz!
NURTURE package

Second: handy!
NURTURE capsule

Could this be any easier to pop into a going-away bag? It could not.

Third: any good?

Yes! The softness, the shine… The Hair feels good, and looks good, too.

A few things:
> You need to be patient with the twisty top. The capsule is made of particularly soft soft plastic, so it takes more than one twist to get the cap to snap. I think it took me abut six twists. Careful! Don’t want to spurt serum all over the joint!
> As tiny as the capsule is, it felt like there was almost too much in it. It’s like the wardrobe to Narnia, or something. Speaking as a long-haired person, it was ultimately the correct amount. Shorter-haired persons may even be able to get another go per capsule.
> It is oddly, and yet welcome-ly, scentless. I sniffed my locks a couple times, I was that surprised.
> The serum has UV and thermal protection qualities. I never think about my hair getting baked by the sun, which = duh, espesh as my highlights gets noticeably highlightier in the summer…
> 20 capsules suddenly doesn’t seem like enough…

You can buy them online here, on for only £7.45, which is a snip, frankly.

And there’s a whole world of product on the site designed for mature skins, and the company are located in Guernsey, which looks stunning!

Let the hording begin…


UPDATE: You won’t get second day hair out of this unless you use dry shampoo the night before. < Which, when I was first investigating how to use dry shampoos properly, wrecked my head {ha, ha}.


UPDATE, MARK II: I used two of my carefully hoarded capsules on a recent trip to France. The water in France is usually rather hard on The Hair*, and it gets all dry and frizzy and dull. This stuff was magique: softness, shine and manageability were the same as at home. So, maybe the headline should be: Travel-sized Product Travels Well!


*Occasionally, my diamond shoes pinch just the tiniest bit, too.


Fudge Urban: Smelling Like Coconut is a Young Woman’s Game.

Methinks. Or rather: Meknows. Fudge Urban Iced coconut Cocktail Mega Hold Hairspray €7.99


I remember — oh, let’s do this right. Once upon a time, back in The History of The Hair, there was a spray, a spray used by all the fairest in the land, which made no sense to me, because it smelled really, really bad. It was called Aqua Net, and it stank like dirty socks. It was, in a word, awful.

But there was nothing else. Nothing else that was suited to the limited financial resources of a high school girl. Or else, it was the hairspray that the cool girls used, so in the desire to be cool, we the uncool used it to. Or it was an elaborate conspiracy on the part of the cool girls to lure we the uncool into using it so that our heads smelled like the locker room at the end of a full day of PE.


Anyway, that’s what one used. And eventually one grew up {hmmm, questionable!} and lived in Brooklyn and worked in Manhattan, and began to use a concoction by Aveda, called Firmata, that was like… it was like shellacing your hair so that it would not move for a week. Which was spectac if you were at a roof party, or a river party, but not so great if you’d scored at one of those parties and maybe wanted the dude to touch your hair without drawing blood. It smelled so pretty that it drew them in, oh yes it did, but then proceeded to cut their fingers to ribbons.


And then … one has not used much spray of the hair lately, until this dropped in for review: Fudge Urban Iced Coconut Cocktail Hair Spray. It claims 48hr Texture Hold, which: maybe, but I put so much stuff in The Hair, I’d have to have nothing in it to prove that this actually works.

What does work is its hold-without-the-frozen-beyond-movement effect, and its scent is incredibly appealing… but also a bit sweet and youthful. I’ll cop to the latter. The former? Em, no. Plus: serious clash with one’s chosen fragrance-of-the-day.

The thing is, I have so much coconutty product on tap — The Body Shop Coconut Body Mist is sitting at my right hand, wistfully waiting to be applied — that I could conceivably layer myself like a piña coloda. If it didn’t feel age inappropriate.

FUDGE hairspray

Oh, herllooo 46A bus, it has been an age since we snapped a selfie from the back of the bus. That is a full-day’s-work, on-deadline head of hair. That held over the course of about ten hours, door-to-door, including two brushings.

Hmmm. There’s an Iced Raspberry and Vanilla flavour — would smelling like a smoothie be less morto?


€7.99; available in selected pharmacies nationwide.


MRL Candles Lush Locks: Well? Are They Lush? Are They?

I love candles, but sometimes I hate to use them, because once you use them, they are no longer beautiful. Candles in glass jars are particularly tricky: I much dislike the way the glass gets all smokey, and the way that the wax can cling to the sides. And the way the wick gets all carbon-y or whatever and flakes into the wax. I just want them to be gorgeous pillars of potential flame.
Lush Locks
Case in point: look how pretty! It took me weeks to even take my Marie Reynolds London Lush Locks Hair Treatment Candle in Satin out of its box! Once I finally brought myself to untie that sweet ribbon, I put the candle on my desk, and I’d look at it, like I’d look at someone on death row, with a mixture of pity and dismay. Well, her days were always numbered, and I recently decided to give this thing a go.

It wasn’t just the whole ‘destroy the beautiful candle’ thing that was holding me back. Hot wax? On my hair? Culled from a burning candle? Really? I had run a Q&A with Marie Reynolds herself here, and she advised using a wooden spatula — I suppose like a thing from the dentist? — if you didn’t want to extinguish the flame. Having nothing the like to hand, I grabbed a tablespoon, blew out the flame, and scooped some out.

Here are a few Pro Tips™:
1} If you don’t have a wooden spatula and opt for a spoon — a spoon that will officially be designated as The Lush Locks Spoon — you needn’t reach for tablespoon. A tea spoon is sufficient, because:
2} OMG, you can use almost none of this to great effect. As you may know, my hair is long, and now is full of layers. The first scoop I took was the only one, as it was too generous, and I actually didn’t need as much as I thought I would, for the lengths and ends.
3} Do this over a sink. Don’t do it at your desk. Because when you use too much and it drips between your fingers, it will get all over your lap, and justtttt miss your keyboard.

The wax is made of soya, which = natural, and the scent is glorious, a combo of Moroccan Argan Oil and champ flowers*, among other delicious things. I didn’t wrap my hair in a warm towel, only because I forgot that part. I cannot wait to try that. You can warm up your towel in the microwave. Is awesomeness.

By the time the wax gets from the spoon to the fingers, it is comfortably warm, the perfect temperature, and yes, MRL Candles are also superb for sexytime massaging — or anytime, really. The wax gave excellent coverage, and as I said, I needed little more than a teaspoon to cover The Hair, like this:
MRL on hair

I had fear that it would turn into hard gunk, the way wax does when it drips on a tabletop; while it didn’t stay malleable, it didn’t dry up and crack, either; it felt like a serum. I left it on for thirty minutes, washed The Hair, dried it, and styled it.
LUSH LOCKS in practice
The locks, they are lush, indeed.

This is technically second day hair. I had a lie-in yesterday and didn’t mosey out into the world until whenever o’clock, so there wasn’t that much environmental wear ‘n’ tear on The Hair. I did the bind-it-up-in-a-topknot thing for sleeping, and this morning gave it a spin with the BaByLiss Big Hair, my new fave thing now that I know how to use it correctly.

The candle is 135gs — how many teaspoons is that? 135gs  = 25 burning hours, so I reckon I’ve got at least 24 more treats in store!


Buy your Lush Locks at; The Satin 135g candle retails for £24.74 + postage.


*Googled champ flowers, to no avail. Anyone?


Hair of the Yesterday, Today: BaByLiss Big Hair meets L’Oréal Techni Art Fresh Dust

Actually, this is Wednesday night/slept-on-it hair, so it’s Hair of the Yesterday + even more hours.


I don’t look convinced, but I really am.

So, what did I do? I used Mane ‘n Tail Shampoo and Conditioner, because I knew I was going to be sleeping on The Hair, and wanted the kind of fullness that this duo impart. When I dried it on the night, I HOTY l'orealspritzed in some of the new John Frieda Luxurious Volume Blow Dry Lotion Root Booster on, unsurprisingly, the roots, and the Ojon rare blend oil: Total Hair Therapy on the ends. Now, I gotta say, a little bit of that goes along way. Axiomatic, I know, but so true. In fact, a little too much is way too much. Loving the shine, but not liking the feeling of limpness that I get when I use too much oil.

Okay! Dried it that magical 80%, BaByLissed it, twisted it up in a knot, went to sleep.

Awoke, and immediately hit the roots and the lengths with L’Oréal’s dry shampoo, Tecni Art Fresh Dust, then fired up the Big Hair and gave it all a twirl. Was very pleased, but was too busy to take a selfie, and so was not pleased. I had promised!

Imagine my surprise when I awoke this a.m. I thought, Nah, there’s no point in trying to revive this — or is there? I mean, I had twisted The Hair into a knot the night before — but I had had a full day in a office, and office-air is just so deadening for the tresses — but sure, why not, let’s see…

And so, I am pleased once more. For the sake of argument:


As well: time to maybe test Color Wow Root Cover Up


John Frieda® Blow Dry Lotion Root Booster, €6.31
L’Oréal Techni Art Fresh Dust, €11.85


HOTD: Ojon, Babyliss, and The New Hair

I got The Hair cut last week, and I’ve been struggling to figure it out.

As much as I was loving the extreme length, and the ease of care — flip the head forward, dry it in no minutes flat, then lash through it with a flat iron — the ends were dead, basically, and it felt a little flat around my face.

But I loved the length. But the ends were dead. But, but, but.


In another narrative strand {LOL} there was the BaByLiss Big Hair Airstyler {€56} I had sitting in the drawer. I was doin’ it rong, or something, because my hair was not in the least bit enbiggened by it. I did all the things they said to do — dry it a bit with a conventional dryer, divide it into sections, apply the Big Hair, one section at time — and it wasn’t working. I had even got over the fear that I was going to tangle the bejeeziz out of The Hair and have to cut the scary rotating electric brush out of a big hank of it, but there’s no worry there: if you do tangle it, you merely take your thumb off the button and stop the rotating electric part.

That was grand, but I didn’t end up with the mahoosive shiny barnet as shown in all the Big Hair videos. Hmmm. I mean, it was right there on youtube, it must be true.

With the new cut, especially with its new layers, the day I tried to do it the old way was a bad, sad hair day. So I broke out the BaByLiss, and some new Ojon styling products I wanted to try, and gave it go. HOTD 28 05 ojon

Both come under the rare blend umbrella. In the past, Ojon have responsibly sourced the oils that infuse their products, from the Central American rainforest. In this new line, they are casting their net wider to include oils from Tahiti, the Kalahari, and various locations in Africa, thus presumably establishing their sustainable business practice on a larger scale.

First up, the deep conditioner {€34} an intensive repair treatment that is a double threat of restorative oils and nourishing conditioner. It dispenses in two different colours, which you mix together in your palm. The texture feels really rich and thick, and isn’t too terribly fussy to use as it only requires 2-3 minutes {as opposed to the completely impractical, nay, impossible, 10-15 some deep conditioners recommend.}

Next up came the rare blend oil: Total Hair Therapy * {€34}. This one is a treble threat of Amber, Crystal and Red oils that, when mixed together, are meant to nourish, repair and smooth. Okay, I’m up for that. Shook it, and applied just a tiny bit: it provided as much coverage as I needed, and it didn’t feel too oily on my fingers. Cool!

Now for the heat. I had been advised by a pal that I was indeed doin’ the BaByliss rong, and that I needed to really dry my hair, like 80%, before messing with the scary rotating electric brush. I followed this advice. Regarde.

HOTD 28 05 the hair

Like it! It feels as smooth as it looks, and the oil hasn’t dulled down the colour one little bit. Lotsa movement! Thanks, Aileen, for the lovely style!

Also: I have thrown in the clips, and mainly used the Big hair the same way I use a conventional hair dryer: just flipped the head over and spun the locks of hair round and round. Then I flipped it back up and took the sections of hair around my face for another spin.

Also also: the Big hair + dry shampoo + second day hair = big feckin’ hair. I have bolded this because it really is the business. I may even post another picture tomorrow to prove it…


I am keen to continue my BaByLiss investigation and try the Perfect Curl — tune into lovelygirliebits for their video review!


*What is up with the cavalier use of upper and lower case, lads!?!


The Hair + Mane Salon = Swisssshhhhhhy! {Frontways}

The back view is on Twitter, and Facebook, too.THE HAIR FRONTWAYS

‘Frontways’ is not a word, I know, I know, don’t get yer knicks in a twist. I guess I am feeling a bit giddy from the fresh Illumina colour via Wella Professionals and Andrew Dunne of Mane Salon. Beautiful blowdry via Aideen.

Another day of boldfacey-ness! Must be the sunshine!


Mane Salon is located in The Grooming Rooms building, 16 South William Street {next to Grogans.}